The KwaZulu-Natal Civil Society Coalition (KZNCSOC) hosted its third annual conference on 20-21 September 2017. The conference took place at the Garden Court Marine Parade in Durban and was sponsored by the Democracy Development Program (DDP). This year’s theme was “Stronger Together” which focused on the state of civil society in KwaZulu Natal and the building of partnerships within the sector.

By: Sthabiso Mdledle


More than 150 people attended the conference. There were also various speakers from different organisations including the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Foundation South Africa head, Henning Suhr, who gave a message of support for the conference and the coalition. He said: “Political parties are to be more open minded to CSO's in order to know what the people are saying.”

During the first day of the conference, KZN Legislature Manager Duduza Gatsheni, delivered a keynote address on The Role of Civil Society in Protecting and Ensuring Democracy and Good Governance in SA with regards to Chapter 9 Institutions.

After the key-note address, Raymond Perrier of the Denis Hurley Centre gave a response on behalf of the civil society, emphasising the importance of working together as individuals and as organisations to achieve goals. Perrier said: “Flexible branches and strong roots can withstand strong winds… The question is not should we work together but rather how can we work together.”

Other presentations included Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by Statistics SA, on the baseline report where the goals will have the voice of the civil society. The research team with KZNCSOC Executive Committee member Sandile Sithole, introduced and summarised the research report.

KZNCSOC Executive Committee chairperson Monica Woodhouse, gave a detailed presentation on the history of the coalition and goals for the future.

On the second day, a new executive committee for the coalition was elected. 


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